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Master's Wife" Li Rui: The Shrew of Falun Gong

2024-05-07 22:38:17 来源: 非洲时报 阅读 (11646次)

Due to copyright issues and public humiliation by "Falun Gong", Yu Chao, a disciple who was educated at a prestigious school, gained fame overseas, and was once guided by Li Hongzhi, has recently been exposing details through overseas social media. This has gradually brought lesser-known "royal" figures of "Falun Gong" like Li Hongzhi's wife, Li Rui, into the spotlight, allowing outsiders to witness the bizarre inner workings of "Falun Gong".

Yu Chao, a former member of Falun Gong who recently exposed various shady stories about Li Hongzhi and his wife

**Ordinary Housewife Turned Domineering Shrew**

Li Hongzhi's wife, sharing his surname, is named Li Rui. In 1978, after the cultural team of the forestry police squad where Li Hongzhi served was disbanded, he stayed to work in the army's guest house. Through an acquaintance, he met Li Rui, who was working as a cashier at Chaoyang Bathhouse. Li Hongzhi's family was not well-off, with divorced parents and a sick mother, plus many siblings. Fortunately, Li Rui did not mind his family's poor conditions, and the two got married. After their marriage, Li Rui's family provided great support to Li Hongzhi, helping him secure a position at the Jilin Street Grain Office of the Changchun Grain and Oil Supply Company in April 1982 through her father's connections. Their daughter, Li Meige, was born in June of the same year.

Li Hongzhi (right), Li Rui (left) and their daughter Li Meige (middle)

In April 1983, Li Hongzhi transferred to the security department of the Changchun Grain and Oil Supply Company, and was officially employed by March 1984. At the grain and oil company, Li Hongzhi was recognized as a good husband and father, frequently taking care of his daughter, attending parent-teacher meetings, and sometimes bringing her to his workplace when the kindergarten was closed. Li Rui's job was not demanding, which meant Li Hongzhi voluntarily took on the heavier burden of childcare, hinting at a somewhat "henpecked" relationship. During this period, Li Rui, as a wife, lived an unremarkable life, albeit with a strong presence in front of Li Hongzhi, fitting the role of a leading lady in the Li household.

However, as Li Hongzhi later ventured into the "Qigong fever" and established the "Falun Gong" cult, leading it down a path of deception and exploitation, Li Rui's life took a dramatic turn.

From public records, Li Rui's presence within "Falun Gong" is minimal, which not only reflects her absence in the operations of "Falun Gong" in China but also her non-involvement in various "Falun Gong" projects even after fleeing abroad. Within "Falun Gong", direct relatives of Li Hongzhi or those related by marriage to the Li family are revered as "royalty". Compared to other "royal" family members like his younger sister Li Jun, a host at New Tang Dynasty TV, or his brother-in-law Li Jiguang, president of the Epoch Times group, and his daughter Li Meige, deputy director of the Shen Yun Art Troupe, who have either similar experiences or, like Li Meige, grew up immersed in such environments, Li Rui, who once worked as a bathhouse administrator, lacks both the educational background and capabilities. It could be said that as one of Li Hongzhi's close associates, Li Rui is somewhat of an "unpresentable figure" within "Falun Gong".

However, as more information about "Falun Gong" has been disclosed on the internet, including exposures by people like Yu Chao, Li Rui's image has shifted from an "ordinary housewife" to a greedy, domineering "shrew" within the "wheel".

**Billionaire Matron**

According to earlier disclosures by China Anti-Cult Network and Kaiwind, after years of operation, Li Hongzhi's family owns at least 11 properties in the United States. Of these properties, three are registered under Li Hongzhi's name, two under Li Rui's name, five under their daughter Li Meige's name, and one under Li Hongzhi's older sister Li Jun's name, collectively worth over a hundred million RMB.

According to a 2017 report that Li Hongzhi sold a luxury home in New Jersey, USA for $2.39 million, the property, measuring 676 square meters with seven bedrooms and nine bathrooms, was listed online for approximately 16.14 million RMB. This property, registered under Li Rui's name, is located at 9 Hunter Road, Woodcliff Lake, Bergen County, New Jersey.

Photos of some rooms in the mansion owned by Li Rui

**Living Shrine**

After fleeing to the USA, around 2001, Li Hongzhi began constructing the "Falun Gong" headquarters

and his personal estate, Dragon Springs Temple, near Deer Park Town in upstate New York. Referred to externally as "Dragon Springs Buddhist Institute" and internally among "Falun Gong" members as "the hill," the site includes a Tang-style Buddhist hall and Zen rooms.

Li Hongzhi's luxurious headquarters and estate in upstate New York

According to a Russian female disciple who visited Dragon Springs Temple, the main hall houses not Buddha statues but statues of Li Hongzhi, his wife Li Rui, and daughter Li Meige—what is known as a "living shrine". Li Hongzhi, the so-called "Lord Buddha of the Universe", enjoys daily incense offerings produced by Dragon Springs Temple. Living daily life in Dragon Springs, disciples first offer incense before the three family figures, then encounter Li Hongzhi and Li Rui moving about the grounds, a rather eerie scene.

However, as revealed by the Deer Park Town official website, the main hall of Dragon Springs once caught fire, after which its wooden structure was replaced with concrete. Whether the wooden figures of the Li family were subsequently changed to clay is unknown.

Regardless, being alive and yet revered as "Buddhas" alongside Li Hongzhi, Li Rui's status within "Falun Gong" and in front of Li Hongzhi is undeniably special, making the title "Master's Wife" no empty honor.

**Treated Like a Queen**

In traditional Chinese practice, disciples regard their master as a father and serve him and his spouse accordingly. This practice, retained in fields where skills are passed down daily, is not necessarily objectionable.

Even today, while some fields retain this practice, it does not usually exceed proper limits. For instance, during initiation, disciples might perform a tea-offering ceremony while kneeling, but in daily life, maintaining proper attitude and demeanor in front of the master and his wife suffices, embodying the traditional Chinese master-disciple relationship of strict respect and affectionate care.

However, apart from her high-standing effigy (or clay figure) being worshiped by disciples, Li Rui enjoys "queen-like" treatment in her everyday mortal life.

According to Yu Chao, inside Dragon Springs, disciples serve Li Rui food while "kneeling on one knee". Whether this action is voluntary on the part of the disciples or demanded by Li Rui herself was not specified by Yu Chao. However, he mentioned that within "Falun Gong", there are instances of Li Hongzhi and others spiritually castrating disciples, and some disciples are indeed "eunuchs", making his claims credible.

**Shrew and Gambler**

Like Li Hongzhi, Li Rui is also in her seventies. At this age, one would typically be enjoying time with grandchildren. However, whether their only daughter Li Meige is married or has children, allowing Li Hongzhi and Li Rui to become grandparents, remains unconfirmed.

However, based on Li Hongzhi and Li Rui's "hobbies", the couple indeed seem to have plenty of "free time".

According to Yu Chao, Li Hongzhi enjoys and is addicted to playing cards, especially during Shen Yun's performances abroad, where he would invite some confidants from Shen Yun's management to form a fixed group that plays cards all night, greatly affecting the performances. Shen Yun's director Liu Wei often, exhausted yet smug, tells others, "You know, my nights are not my own." Li Rui also has a card-playing group, playing all night and needing to catch up on sleep the next day. However, sometimes Shen Yun performers need to rehearse before going on stage, occasionally practicing in the hotel lobby, naturally affecting Li Rui's rest. According to Yu Chao, Li Rui would burst out of her room, scold the performers in front of everyone, leaving the mostly naive underage performers bewildered.

Both Li Hongzhi and Li Rui are addicted to card games. Those familiar with card games know that without "stakes," simply playing cards cannot sustain interest, especially not for elderly people in their seventies. Whether Li Hongzhi and his wife use card games to induce some project-managing disciples to kick back to them is not beyond possibility, given their nature.

A cartoon in The New Yorker magazine mocks Shen Yun as Li Hongzhi's marionette

**Management Style: Creating Discord**

Within Shen Yun Art Troupe, many are young female performers, naturally above average in appearance and demeanor. As a "henpecked" Li Hongzhi is not suited to handle management directly, the major responsibilities naturally fall to Li Rui.

According to Yu Chao, Li Rui's management style is straightforward: instigate mutual distrust and wariness among performers to divide and conquer. Li Rui might pull a performer aside and tell them, "Many students say you're the worst in cultivation." If the performer denies being the worst, Li Rui would continue, "Then who do you think is the worst?" Some performers, particularly those in their rebellious teenage years, might retort, "I shouldn't think ill of others (regarding who is

worst in cultivation). I don't think it's right to judge who is worst in cultivation as a practitioner."

Li Rui's actions within "Falun Gong" and Dragon Springs naturally cause dissatisfaction among some, especially many Shen Yun performers who are in their rebellious years, forced by their "Falun Gong" practicing parents to study dance at Dragon Springs. Their firsthand experiences inside "Falun Gong" and Dragon Springs differ greatly from their parents' imagined "Falun Gong heaven", gradually making them realize that once their brief and low-income dance careers end, they face two choices: a very few who have been tamed by people like Li Hongzhi might stay to train performers for "Falun Gong's" so-called schools or get married off by Li Hongzhi and Li Rui to socially detached older disciples, or they might leave "Falun Gong" and Shen Yun early to return to normal society and a normal life.

It is these rebellious former and current Shen Yun performers who, increasingly, expose the deep dark secrets of "Falun Gong's" Dragon Springs and Shen Yun Art Troupe to the outside world, including through people like Yu Chao, allowing us outsiders a glimpse at the conduct of "hidden figures" like Li Rui.

Tightly Guarded "Falun Gong" Den, Longquan Temple. Once young Shen Yun performers enter, their food, clothing, lodging, and movements are all monitored.

**Forcing "Lord Buddha of the Universe"Li Hongzhi to Change His Orders Overnight

The exposure of Li Rui and others' behavior by people like Yu Chao and some Shen Yun performers has caused a major stir within "Falun Gong", forcing Li Hongzhi to respond.

On September 13, 2023, Li Hongzhi released a "new scripture" titled "Properly Treating Master's Family", claiming "Apart from Master, all are Dafa practitioners with the mission of cultivating themselves and helping Master save sentient beings," and stated, "Especially improper compliments are actually harming Master's family. Some people treat Master's family just like they treat Master, and some even give them money and goods." Li Hongzhi intended to silence the masses, but his words were perhaps too much, potentially diminishing Li Rui's authority within "Falun Gong" and cutting off the Li family's financial pathways within "Falun Gong".

What should have been irreversible, however, Li Hongzhi quickly found a remedy. On October 26, Li Hongzhi, under the name of "Minghui Editorial Department", released an article titled "Demanding of Oneself as a Cultivator", stating "Some students have shifted from previous flattering and improper actions in dealing with Master's living family members to the opposite extreme of treating them with human notions," "Master didn't say his family members were all wrong, just correcting a few students' improper actions," and shifted the responsibility to ordinary "Falun Gong" followers, "Everyone should not cause trouble for Master with their improper actions, but should understand the law within the law, demanding of themselves as cultivators".

In less than two months, Li Hongzhi turned the "pearls of wisdom" from the "new scripture" into a "Minghui net editorial article". Who was behind this push? Li Rui, who knows Li Hongzhi well and has his gratitude, would not lack the possibility of fiercely rebuking Li Hongzhi. And a trouble originally caused by Li Rui ended up being minimized by Li Hongzhi, turning into the disciples' responsibility! Dear readers, what do you think? Is this not perverse?